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Richard Wigmore

( b Rome, Jan 25, 1960). Italian harpsichordist, organist and conductor . Largely self-taught, he conducted his first major concert, of Cavalli's Calisto, in Rome in 1985, with a group of singers that were to form the nucleus of a permanent ensemble, Concerto Italiano. The ensemble's first recording, of Monteverdi's fourth book of madrigals, was widely acclaimed for its passion and colour, winning a ...

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Raquel Bustos Valderrama

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], June 8, 1924; d Aug 7, 2005). Chilean composer and educator of German origin. She emigrated to Chile in 1939 and adopted Chilean nationality in 1951. She studied with Frè Focke (1949–53) in Chile and with René Leibowitz...

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Marta Cureses

(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until ...

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Terence J. O’Grady and Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in ...

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Bill C. Malone and Barry Mazor

(b nr Luttrell, TN, June 20, 1924, d Nashville, TN, June 30, 2001). American country-music guitarist and recording company executive. Although the first instrument he played professionally was the fiddle, he became internationally famous as a guitarist. Developed while he was in high school, his guitar style was influenced by Merle Travis, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, and George Barnes and was characterized by the use of the thumb to establish a rhythm on the lower strings and multiple fingers to play melodic or improvisational passages on the higher strings, sometimes with complex voicings. In the early 1940s Atkins toured with Archie Campbell and Bill Carlisle playing both fiddle and guitar, and appeared with them on WNOX radio in Knoxville. He then toured with the second generation Carter Family as a sideman and in ...

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Roben Jones

(b Whitehaven, TN, April 8, 1931). American singer-songwriter, producer, publisher, and entrepreneur. He began playing bluegrass while in the military and after his discharge in 1952, played at radio stations in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Boston. While enrolled in Memphis State University (from ...

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Frances Barulich

Firm of music and book publishers. Concordia Publishing House was founded in St. Louis in 1869 by immigrant German Lutherans for the purpose of printing their hymnals and other church literature, and takes its name from the Lutheran Book of Concord (1580). Its catalog, which has included music since ...

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County  

Benjamin J. Harbert

Record label. Established in New York in 1963 by David Freeman, County Records has helped to preserve and disseminate old-time music through re-releases of prewar string bands and field recordings. The original LP anthologies brought together 78s from Freeman’s collection of 1920s music; these artists include The Skillet-Lickers, Charlie Poole, and Uncle Dave Macon. In ...

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Alyssa Woods

Record label. Death Row Records was formed in 1991 by former football star Marion “Suge” Knight and rapper/producer Dre (Andre Romelle Young) in Los Angeles, California. The label’s first release was Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992, a groundbreaking album that paired explicit and often violent lyrics with commercial beats that were based on older soul, funk, and R&B songs. The musical style of ...

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Thane Tierney

Scottish record company. It was originally established in Austria in August 1990 by musician, painter, and record collector Johann Ferdinand “Johnny” Parth. As far back as the 1950s Parth had reissued vintage recordings, first on the Jazz Perspective and Hot Club de Vienne labels. In the mid-1960s, after consulting with Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records, Parth and his ex-wife Evelyn launched Roots Records with the goal of creating an Austrian counterpart to Arhoolie; the label, which produced limited-edition reissues (released in America on the Arhoolie label), folded in ...

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Dover  

Frances Barulich

Firm of publishers. In 1941 Hayward Cirker established the firm in New York as a dealer in academic remainders. He issued his first reprint in 1943, and Dover has since become known for its reissues of scholarly texts. Although it specialized initially in scientific literature, the firm soon extended its interests to other areas, including music. Notable among its reprints of music texts are works on Johann Sebastian Bach by Albert Schweitzer and Philipp Spitta, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s ...

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Ryan R. McNutt

(b Westerly, RI, Sept 26, 1973). American songwriter and record producer. One of the most sought-after collaborators for popular singers in the 2000s, he helped reshape the sound of radio pop for the MP3 age. His hits include Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U been Gone,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.” As of ...

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Joe C. Clark

Record company founded by Houston-based African American entrepreneur Don Robey in 1949. It focused primarily on rhythm-and-blues and gospel music. Robey’s initial label, Peacock Records, was created to record bluesman Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. The label also recorded Big Mama Thornton’s rendition of “Hound Dog,” which was later covered and made famous by Elvis Presley. Gospel artists including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and the Bells of Joy joined the label and provided much of its success during the early 1950s....

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Alice Tacu

Romanian music publishing house, founded in 1957 in Bucharest. It was established at the initiative of Ion Dumitrescu, the director of the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists at that time, was organized as part of this institution’s departments, and subsequently was under the Union’s administration. Its official launch was understated, probably due to repeated previous efforts to establish a publishing house department within the Union, often due to difficulties and uncertainties in legal status. Previous to this founding year, the Union, in its attempt to encourage Romanian music and make it visible to a wider audience, collaborated with private publishing houses, Romanian or foreign, and was connected to the establishment of a Music Department (...

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Thane Tierney

Record company. It was established in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1950 by student entrepreneur Jac Holzman. With $300 of his own money and $300 borrowed from classmate Paul Rickolt, the St. John’s College junior launched his label with EKLP-1, New Songs by John Gruen, recorded in a single three-hour session. Holzman subsequently dropped out of college, moved back to his native New York City, and relocated Elektra’s headquarters to Greenwich Village. Early successes included blues albums by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and folk albums by Jean Ritchie and Theodore Bikel, the latter of whom bought a 5% share of the fledgling company. In the early 1960s the label continued to work mainly in the blues and folk arenas; notable signings included Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Koerner, Ray & Glover....

Article

Epic  

Christopher Doll

Record company. It was established by CBS in 1953 as a subsidiary of Columbia Records. Although from the start its issues included jazz and pop, Epic for many years was known primarily for its recordings of George Szell conducting the Cleveland Orchestra (including those made with a young Leon Fleisher as piano soloist). In the latter part of the 1950s, as rock and roll began to overtake the industry, the company struggled to find itself artistically and commercially, accumulating an odd assortment of American, Australian, and European performers representing a wide array of classical, jazz, and popular styles....

Article

Excello  

Joe C. Clark

Record company. Excello was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1952 by Ernie Young, owner of a chain of jukeboxes and record stores. The label was a subsidiary of Young’s Nashboro Records, established a year earlier, which focused on gospel music. Excello initially featured some R&B and hillbilly music but was primarily a blues label. Notable artists included Arthur Gunter, Ted Garrett, Earl Gaines, Roscoe Shelton, the Crescendos, the Gladiolas, and the Marigolds....

Article

Frances Barulich

Firm of music publishers. It was founded in New York in 1928 as a partnership between the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (which later became Paramount Pictures) and Warner Bros., whose interest was purchased by Paramount in 1933. Famous has published songs and theme music associated with Paramount films, including “Beyond the Blue Horizon” (...

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Fantasy  

Thane Tierney

Record company. Named after a science fiction magazine, it was originally established in San Francisco in 1949 by brothers Max and Sol Weiss, who owned a plastic molding business and record pressing plant. The label began with a reissue of masters purchased for $400 from local pianist Dave Brubeck, who had previously issued them on a small local label, Coronet. Throughout the 1950s and 60s Fantasy had its pick of the jazz artists that played the North Beach area of San Francisco, including Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, Gerry Mulligan, and Bola Sete, among others. During that time they also had success with organist Korla Pandit and boasted an active spoken-word roster that featured poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti as well as satirist Lenny Bruce. They launched the Galaxy label, also named for a science fiction magazine, in ...

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Lennart Reimers and Jon Stroop

(b Hellerup, Copenhagen, Aug 11, 1919; d Aug 31, 2000). Danish music antiquarian, writer on music and publisher. He founded the publishing firm known by his name in 1953 when he purchased the Knud Larsen Musikforlag (founded 1906), and added to this an antiquarian business. He studied at the University of Copenhagen (...